Medical director brings dementia research closer to community
Medical director brings dementia research closer to community:
Dr. Alexandre-Henri Bhargava shares insight into closing the gap between discoveries and treatment options
What happens when researchers uncover promising new findings about dementia treatments and the search for a cure? How long is it before the work they produce comes into practice and makes life better for people directly affected by dementia?
Behavioural neurologist Dr. Alexandre Henri-Bhargava is devoted to changing the answers to these questions, which have not always been promising. On February 27, at Victoria’s Breakfast to Remember, presented by Trillium Boutique Senior Living, guests will hear him speak about his work as the Medical Director of the Neil and Susan Manning Cognitive Health Initiative, a project aimed at bringing newly-developed research findings into practice.
They’re beginning with a dedicated memory clinic based at the Royal Jubilee Hospital where people can be seen and through which health-care providers can access electronic systems to share assessment tools and information. The goal: lose less information and time from basic discovery to clinical practice and allow issues that arise at the clinic to drive the research questions.
Dr. Henri-Bhargava looks to his colleagues currently studying the use of mobile technology to measure brainwaves, something that has traditionally taken place in a lab, connected to a computer with electrodes, as an example of how the initiative could work. A UVic researcher is studying the efficacy of headbands marketed as a tool for meditation and sold online for approximately $200, with the hopes of using them as an affordable, non-invasive diagnostic tool.
“That’s just one example of what you can do when you’re keeping track of your patients, you know the needs of your clinicians, and you talk to your colleagues at the university,” he says. “Who knows if that project will be successful, but we can’t even ask those questions if our system isn’t set up to allow us to ask them.”
Dr. Henri-Bhargava’s passion for dementia research and care is driven by personal experience – and a desire to address the societal cost of dementia as the population ages and the number of people affected by dementia grows exponentially.
“We’ve all been affected by dementia. My grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease, and if you ask anyone on the street, they all know somebody affected by dementia. Most of us go into medicine trying to have a positive influence on something that matters, and this is an area where there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Join us at Breakfast to Remember, presented by Trillium Boutique Senior Living, from 7 – 9 a.m. on February 27 at Victoria’s Fairmont Empress Hotel to learn more about Dr. Henri-Bhargava’s work and innovations in dementia research and care. In addition to Dr. Henri-Bhargava, guests will also hear from keynote speaker, renowned yacht designer, Gregory C. Marshall, who also has a personal connection to the disease. The annual fundraiser is an opportunity for local business and community leaders to network while raising funds to help the Alzheimer Society of B.C. change the future for people affected by dementia. For more details, or to purchase tickets, visit BreakfastToRemember.ca.